put/turn the clock back
turn the clock backand turn back the clock
1. Lit. to set a clock to an earlier time. I have to turn the clocks back each fall. Please turn back the clock.
2. Fig. to try to return to the past. You are not facing up to the future. You are trying to turn the clock back to a time when you were more comfortable. Let us turn back the clock and pretend we are living at the turn of the century—the time that our story takes place.
turn the clock backor
turn back the clock
COMMON If you would like to turn the clock back or to turn back the clock, you would like to return to an earlier period, usually because you would like the chance to change something that you did in the past. I'd like to turn the clock back and do things differently, but I can't. If I could turn back the clock, I might not have said that. Note: You can use the verb put instead of turn. No amount of money — not even millions like this — can put back the clock and change what happened.